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ROLLER COASTER CONDITIONS TAKE ANGLERS ON RIDE
Anglers have seen roller coaster conditions return this week for the
Kentucky Lake region but it appears a warming trend is in progress as
the weekend approaches. Everyone deserves a warm-up after enduring the
winter blast of ice and snow earlier this week that pretty much
paralyzed the fishing scene for a few days.
After a decent Saturday the weather turned nasty as heavy rains preceded
another winter storm that saw temperatures dip several degrees below
normal on Sunday, setting the stage for severe conditions. For the last
several days folks have been digging out from the ice and snow that had
Boat ramps that had a thick layer of ice all week have finally thawed,
opening the opportunity for anglers to get back out on the water this
weekend as temps are forecast to climb into the upper 50ís and maybe the
Surface temperatures dropped back the last few days due to cold weather.
The snow melt is sending cold runoff into the reservoir so the water
will be sluggish to warm despite improved weather. Readings were in the
39 to 42 degree range at midweek.
Lake levels were rising earlier in the week due to heavy rains and
runoff but crested at midweek and began falling slowly. Projections for
the weekend at Kentucky Dam will be 356.7. Upstream around New
Johnsonville lake elevation is projected to be in the 357.2 range.
TVA is spilling water at Kentucky Dam so watch for a slow, gradual drop
in lake levels the next several days. Water color had been a bit dingy
in the Paris Landing area and up Big Sandy while some of the larger bays
were showing better color. The main Tennessee River channel has dingy
water and quite a bit of curret.
The regionís first major bass tournament got off to a good start last
Saturday when calm winds and warm sunshine descended for a rare
appearance. It took a hefty stringer of five bass weighing 26 pounds, 7
ounces to win the LBL Division Walmart Bass Fishing League event out of
Kentucky Dam Marina.
Taking the top spot and a check for $4,610 was Brent Anderson of
Kingston Springs, TN. Anderson said he was cranking bars in 6 to 8 feet
of water with a Strike King KVD HC Flat Side crankbait and that he
caught upwards of 30 keepers.
Bass fishermen got lucky last Saturday with the weather as before and
after the event conditions were cold and horrible. The bite had been
pretty tough prior to the one decent day of fishing last weekend as most
anglers indicated they had not done well in practice.
Watch for activity to rebound in the days ahead if warmer weather
continues. March on Kentucky Lake has a reputation for producing the
biggest stringers of the year. The fish really put on the feed bag as
they come out of a winter lull and start bulking up for their prespawn
Crankbaits will be the lure of choice for the next few weeks. From
crawfish variations to loud Firetiger colors, the rocky points,
shorelines, and rip-rap rock banks will be worthy of consideration as
will those sloping mud bars and points where fish move up during the
warmer afternoon periods.
Crappie anglers were reporting some success before the frigid conditions
moved in. Just how the fish will react in the aftermath of the cold
front and cold surface temperatures remains to be seen.
Odds are fish will rebound gradually as warmer days enter the picture. A
few fish had been caught in midrange structure last week. Depths of 10
to 13 feet gave up a few scattered fish as did some of the main lake
ledges where depths of 18 to 25 produced.
A few boats were spider rigging along the main lake humps and ledges,
encountering some sluggish fish. Others were tightlining jigs with
mediocre results as were those anglers dunking live minnows. Generally
speaking the numbers were low but overall reports indicated some
improvement over the previous week.
March is a month where things change quickly. Both bass and crappie will
be on the move, especially when a day or two of warmer weather comes
along and influences surface temperatures.
Anglers are hoping ice, snow and severe cold are gone for good. It has
been a mean week and no doubt some cool days are ahead but hopefully no
knockout blows like anglers received earlier this week. March Madness
started with a vengeance!
Also check out our past:
Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports
Steve McCadams is one of the nation's best known Crappie Fishermen
and a full time resident of Paris, Tennessee. Steve is also a
professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area.